Grandma’s many beaus: TikTok tales of teen hunks from BHS ’48 goes viral

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — And now, a love story. Several love stories, actually, all rolled up into one. A set of 73-year-old love stories involving one girl — a teenager forever — as told by her admiring granddaughter.

When Lauren Semar’s grandmother was a Bakersfield High School senior in 1948, you might say things were different. Algebra was the same. English comp was the same. But the boys … the boys were different. And how would she know? Research!

“I found my grandmother’s High School scrapbook,” Semar announced in a TikTok post last week “And I would like to share with you all of the extremely hot, smoking hot men, probably dead now, she used to date  — because Oh my god!”

Last Wednesday was Lauren’s grandmother’s birthday. Her gi-gi, Mary Lee Semar, would have been  91. She died two years ago. Lauren thought she’d do a little reminiscing, so she pulled out grandma’s scrapbook. She couldn’t believe her eyes.

“So I’ve got one of her old dance cards — ‘The Stars Will Remember.’ She graduated ‘48, so it looks like senior year. The juniors are putting on this dance for the seniors. She went with Bob,” Semar said. “… Who’s Bob? I need to know.

“Bob, you do not look like a teenager, sir, you look like an adult man … Well, underneath that suit, this is what Bob looks like. Bob. Why weren’t you my grandpa?

Semar, a 2003 North High grad, posts something on the short-video social media platform TikTok just about every week, mostly to advertise her custom clothing line, Lauren of Palm Springs. But when posted about grandma’s hunky teenage boyfriends, her TikTok blew up. 

“It was amazing,” she said via Zoom “I mean .. It was really blowing up. I was like, Hey, that’s cool.  Well, I woke up this morning  and it was like 1.4 million views. It’s insanity, cause I just did it for fun, for me as, like, a remembrance. All the girls are, like, Why aren’t guys like this anymore? Or, These guys look so put together. Where are the grandsons? We need to know. I can’t wait to meet Bob in heaven. Ladies are, like planning out their afterlife with these men. So — yeah.”

She ran through the teen hunks in her TikTok post. Here’s Jim Dobbs. Looking dapper in his uniform. Doug Pounds. Navy. Dave Rogers. 2 percent body fat. Bob Devlin. Looks like Bing Crosby Junior. And .. James Dean? Well, no — but.

“I don’t know who this guy is,” she said. “.Oh my god, this guy’s, like, Rock Hudson looking. There he is again. Oh my god. I don’t know this dude’s name. Oh yeah, why aren’t YOU my grandpa? Huh?”

Let’s just get this out there right now. Mary Lee Semar was no boll-legged nerd herself. She was babe. There she was in the 1948 Oracle yearbook. It was a good looking class. Some might recognize one future matinee idol,  a couple pages to the front of the yearbook. Name, Frank Gifford. We hear he played football.

So … who WAS her grandpa?  Lauren posted a TikTok sequel to answer that question, which was apparently on the minds of many who viewed the original post.

“Okay, you’re gonna understand why I’m so frustrated,” she said in the second TikTok “Why these guys who were smoking hot are not my grandpa —  because this man in the photo is my grandpa.”

Her biological grandpa. He lasted two years with grandma. But then —

“in ‘71 she married Randall Rankin,” Semar said. “He was my step-grandpa. He was really, really wonderful. He might not have been a super smoking hot babe when she married him, but I didn’t care. He was great.”

The moral of the story: Super smokin’ hot is nice to look at, but really wonderful is what counts in the end.

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